Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Hell of a Year

2017 has been one of the most exciting, reward, and exceptional years of my life. The highlights included going on safari in Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan India and getting within twenty feet of a Bengal tiger, cooking a meal for monks in a remote monastery in northern Thailand and then receiving their blessings, riding a camel for the first time, and also an elephant for the tenth time, walking five hundred and fifty miles across northern Spain on a spiritual pilgrimage, working to get my latest novel ready for publication by Dreamspinner Press, attended three wedding of nieces and nephews, and the lost three beloved friends.

Herman and I spent over four months abroad visiting five countries—Thailand, India, France, Spain, and Portugal. While at home, it was our first year with our dog Trek, a lovely soul who brings joy into our lives each and every day. And we had also shared our joy and heartbreaks with old friends and new throughout a hectic social calendar.

It was a year where, for the first time, I read many more non-fiction books that fiction. My tastes are changing, apparently. I read thirty to forty books a year, and I’m drifting away from fiction, preferring books about real events, political situations, and people I admire. It makes me wonder if my writing will follow that same trend.

It was a year of great blessings and greater heartache. Those three deaths came very close together at the end of the year. They hit us like dominos, before we could recover from the one, another hit, and another. Heartrending grief spread over a few dark months.

Surprisingly, our plans for 2018 are shaping up to exceed this past year. We have two trips scheduled for the first half of the year that will take us to at least seven countries—Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, China, France, and Spain. And once again, we are planning another five hundred mile pilgrimage, this time across France. My novel will be published in June, so I will be spending the summer working to promote the book. We don’t have a clue what the second half of 2018 will bring. Just planning the first half has been a full time job.

I’ll close out this year’s journal with a fervent wish that all my family, friends, and readers find love, peace and prosperity in 2018.

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